Monday, June 3, 2013

Berry Good Recipe

If, during a random kid-check, Calvin doesn't answer roll call, I can usually locate him pretty quick. Lately, he'll be crouched in the grass at the edge of our yard, hands and feet stained purple with the mulberries he's foraging. The obsession started as what we figure was probably an act of defiance. Calvin asked for a snack close to supper time. I told him no. A few seconds later, he said just a little too loudly, "I know! I'll get mulberries!!" and ran off to recruit Max to help him, promising him a "snack" in return. Daddy and I chose to ignore it because we were busy organizing the shed and we wanted him out of our hair strategically picking our battles.

An hour later, the two were still at it.

Calvin had a small cup about half full, but I could tell where he'd stashed the majority of his finds.

He asked if we had enough to make a cobbler. We did not, unless it was a cobbler for a small family of mice. I helped him find a few more, when he said, "What is that falling?" I asked if it was a rain drop. It'd been overcast all day. "No! It's big!" When I told him what it was, the mulberry picking ended for the day...

This was after he'd wiped it - and was trying to wipe it on me because I was laughing and taking pictures. 

The bird didn't deter him for long. The next day, he recruited big brother for some more serious foraging. This time, they picked with a mission in mind - fill up a large cup for cobbler. This cobbler has become Calvin's iconic summer recipe. "Make a cobbler" was on our summer to-do list last year and this. Any time we see a berry in nature, edible or not, Calvin wants to whip up a cobbler to try it out.

When I called my three little gatherers in for another supper, they had accomplished their mission. They drug in their shoes, shirts (those never stay on long around here) and slingshot. I questioned the last item. Usually I know about weapons pretty soon after they're produced - not because of my attentiveness, mind you, but because something happens that makes my presence necessary. Anyway, Calvin explained that they were going to sling balls up into the tree to knock down the "juicy ones" but they couldn't find our sling shot balls (what family has a collection of sling shot balls?!), so they threw shoes instead. Score one for independence and problem solving skills.

The mulberries stayed in the fridge until my sister came for a visit. An epic mud fight caused supper to be a little late, so we didn't get to serve the precious cobbler to our guest. Instead, we made it for a bedtime snack. Here's the recipe, and a little chef drama:

Somersault Cobbler from Xplor Magazine

     1 c sugar
     1/4 c shortening
     1/2 c milk
     3/4 c flour
     1 t baking powder
     1/4 t salt
     berries (recipes calls for 3 c of blackberries, but we've made it with all kinds and amounts)
     2 T butter
     3/4 c water

- Painstakingly de-stem mulberries. Threaten to cancel the whole cooking session if attitudes don't improve.

- Lecture littlest chef for throwing handfuls of "before" berries into the "after" bowl.

- Lecture oldest chefs for being mean to little guy about his little mistake.
- Fight over who gets to sit on the counter/stool and who gets to dump ingredients first.
- Combine 1/2 c of the sugar and shortening. Take turns blending until extra creamy - then blend some more so everyone gets a turn.

- Mix in milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Try to distract the Little Bit when it's his turn to pour the flour, otherwise you'll have to estimate how much fell on the counter and floor to supplement while he's licking up his mess.

- Grease an 8-inch square pan and pour in batter. Fight over who gets to lick what.

- Top batter with berries. Remove tiny caterpillar.
- Flake butter over berries. Thank the good Lord in Heaven above that the two youngest are already bored and don't want to help with this step.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over top. Try to act like you're not helping tiny chef so he doesn't get mad and fling sugar even farther.
- Bring water to a boil and gently pour over berries and batter.
- Complete "the process" with less successful results while cobbler bakes at 400 degrees for 30 mn.
- Let anyone who didn't get in big, fat trouble during the bedtime routine eat cobbler.

This particular night, there were only two pieces of cobbler served. I ate one of them. Coincidentally, there were also two sets of wet cheeks that night. Cheeks that had been very purple just a few days prior. The next night, toy picking up went much better...

1 comment:

Deborah Raney said...

Oh, man! You make my baking sound SOOO boring! Love this recipe. Did you also know that it's a recipe for happy kids? Tearing up a little here in Kansas. Miss you guys! See you soon!